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Vietnam DeclassifiedThe CIA and Counterinsurgency$
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Thomas L Ahern

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125619

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125619.001.0001

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Counterinsurgency in the Central Highlands

Counterinsurgency in the Central Highlands

(p.39) Chapter 3 Counterinsurgency in the Central Highlands
Vietnam Declassified

Thomas L. Ahern

University Press of Kentucky

In October 1961, President John F. Kennedy sent his personal military representative, General Maxwell Taylor, and White House adviser on Vietnam Walt W. Rostow to Saigon for a firsthand assessment. They returned with recommendations for a massive new commitment, including 8,000 troops. Kennedy backed away from deploying ground forces but approved additional material and advisory support. In this climate, Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Allen Dulles authorized the first major Central Intelligence Agency counterinsurgency program and endorsed a Saigon Station proposal to launch a village defense program in the lightly populated but strategically important Central Highlands. The CIA's counterinsurgency role grew after an interagency task force noted in January 1962 that support to irregular formations fell under the jurisdiction of neither the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) nor the civilian aid mission, called the U.S. Operations Mission (USOM).

Keywords:   Maxwell Taylor, Vietnam, Walt W. Rostow, Saigon, John F. Kennedy, Allen Dulles, CIA, counterinsurgency program, Saigon Station, Central Highlands

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